Global Medical Tourism Market to Surpass Valuation of USD 48.66 Billion by 2032 | Astute Analytica

Medical tourism market is booming, mainly fueled by the search for affordable, quality healthcare overseas. Cost savings, shorter wait times, and access to specialized procedures unavailable at home are major factors enabling this growth. Developing nations s with advanced medical infrastructure and competitive pricing such as India, Brazil and Thailand are capturing this growing market. Thereby, challenge traditional healthcare providers.

New Delhi, Feb. 15, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global medical tourism market was valued at USD 17.69 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 48.66 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 11.9% during the forecast period, 2024-2032.

The global medical tourism market is currently experiencing a remarkable expansion driven by globalization, digitalization, and the significantly increasing costs of healthcare in many developed countries. Consequently, numerous nations are actively investing in the development of their healthcare and medical tourism sectors, recognizing the potential for substantial economic gains. One of the prominent features of the medical tourism landscape is the popularity of specific countries as preferred destinations for international healthcare seekers. Costa Rica, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States are some of the most sought-after destinations, offering a wide range of medical services to global patients. European countries are also carving a niche in this industry, with Spain emerging as the most attractive European destination, closely followed by France and Germany. These countries are becoming increasingly competitive in terms of medical tourism offerings.

On a global scale, cross-border patients typically spend between $3,500 to $5,000 during a single medical visit, contributing significantly to the medical tourism market, which is estimated to be worth $48.79 billion by 2032. Therefore, many countries are now making healthcare and medical tourism central to their tourism policies, with less developed nations attracting a growing number of patients due to lower costs. These countries are investing in their healthcare systems, enabling them to offer advanced and progressive medical services to health tourists. India, for instance, witnessing a significant influx of medical tourist from West Asia and Africa. India's medical tourism landscape is further enriched by 38 hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI) and 619 by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH).

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Thailand, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Mexico Have Become Hub for Medical Tourism

The rise of medical tourism market in countries like Thailand, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Mexico showcases their ability to offer high-quality healthcare services at a fraction of the cost found in Western countries. These nations have strategically positioned themselves as global healthcare hubs, attracting millions of international patients each year through a combination of advanced medical technologies, skilled healthcare professionals, and world-class facilities. Thailand, for instance, has become a magnet for those seeking cosmetic surgery and dental care, welcoming over 1.2 million international patients annually. Its appeal is further emphasized by the cost of medical treatments, which are 50-70% lower than those in the United States and Europe. Bangkok's Bumrungrad International Hospital, serving around 520,000 foreign patients each year, and the country's impressive $330 million revenue from medical tourism in 2022, highlight Thailand's prominence in the sector.

Similarly, India attracts approximately 2 million medical tourists each year, drawn by its expertise in cardiac surgery, orthopedics, and transplants in the global medical tourism market. The affordability of surgery in India, often one-tenth the cost in the US or Western Europe, combined with the Apollo Hospitals Group's extensive experience treating patients from over 120 countries, showcases India's significant role in global medical tourism. On the other hand, Singapore's healthcare system, recognized for its efficiency and quality, draws over 520,000 international patients annually. Despite higher costs relative to other Asian countries, medical procedures in Singapore are still 25-40% cheaper than in the US, making it an attractive option for those seeking top-tier medical care. The country's S$1.1 billion revenue from medical tourists in 2018 emphasizes its successful healthcare model.

Malaysia and Mexico have also emerged as key players in the medical tourism industry. Malaysia's welcoming of over 1 million medical tourists in 2019, along with its healthcare system's global ranking, and the affordability of treatments—65-80% less than in the US—demonstrate its appeal. Mexico, favored for dental care, cosmetic surgery, and bariatric surgery, sees over 1.2 million medical tourists annually, mainly from the US and Canada, highlighting the significant cost savings (50-70% less) and Tijuana's status as a major medical hub. Malaysia's position in the medical tourism industry, which highlights its ambition to surpass Thailand and Singapore as the top destination in Southeast Asia. The growth rate of medical tourism in Malaysia is currently at 16-17% per year. The Malaysian government actively promotes medical tourism, focusing on quality care and has established the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme to enhance its appeal to international patients.

Cosmetic Tourism is Gaining Grounds in Global Medical Tourism Market

In recent years, the cosmetic surgery industry has seen a notable shift, with women making up 91% of cosmetic surgery treatments. Popular procedures include breast augmentation, neck lifts, facelifts, and eyelid surgery. Meanwhile, the UK has witnessed a growing trend among males, with nearly 5,000 cosmetic surgeries performed on men annually. This surge in interest has coincided with a significant increase in individuals traveling abroad for cosmetic procedures, with a 109% rise between 2015 and 2017, underlining the burgeoning cosmetic tourism industry. Brazil, as a leading destination, captivates 10% of the global market for cosmetic surgery, while the Czech Republic's popularity has surged, evidenced by a 304% increase in requests for nose jobs in 2016.

However, this trend in the medical tourism market is not without its complications. Two in five surgeons in the UK have encountered issues arising from surgeries performed abroad, with the British Association for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (BAAPS) noting a one-third increase in complications. This has led to the UK spending £8.2 million on corrective surgeries, highlighting the financial risks associated with medical tourism. Cultural practices, such as in Iran where rhinoplasty is highly popular, further illustrate the diverse motivations behind cosmetic surgery. Cost is a significant factor driving individuals to seek treatment abroad, with savings on procedures that would otherwise cost thousands in the United States.

The medical tourism market's growth is further fueled by social media, offering a perfect platform for showcasing results and influencing demand. Countries like Turkey, Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia are preferred for their blend of quality, affordability, and expertise. Many UK citizens opt for Eastern/Central Europe, attracted by lower costs and shorter travel times. Yet, after-care remains a challenge, stressing the importance of thorough research and consultations, including video calls with surgeons, before undergoing procedures abroad. Despite concerns, such as those related to Brexit affecting travel and exchange rates, the appeal of cosmetic tourism continues, supported by technological advancements and confidence in successful outcomes. Surgeons caution against being swayed by advertisements that pair surgery with holiday experiences, emphasizing the necessity of informed decisions for safer surgery experiences.

Market Forecast (2032)US$ 48.66 Billion
By Treatment TypeOncology (24.5%)
By Service ProvidersPrivate Hospitals (92.9%)
Top Trends
  • Digital health integration
  • Personalized patient experiences
  • Cost-effective treatment options
Top Drivers
  • Affordable treatment costs
  • Access to advanced technology
  • Lack of domestic availability
Top Challenges
  • Cross-border health risks
  • Quality and safety concerns
  • Legal and ethical issues

Key Findings in Global Medical Tourism Market

  • In North America, high healthcare costs are pushing patients towards medical tourism. The U.S., for example, with its high per capita healthcare expenditure, sees its residents seeking more cost-effective treatments abroad without compromising on quality or access to advanced medical technologies​​.
  • The Asia Pacific region is projected to experience the highest growth in medical tourism, thanks to the availability of specialized and advanced procedures at lower costs. Countries like Thailand are notable destinations due to their accredited hospitals and skilled healthcare professionals​​.
  • The medical tourism market includes various treatment types, with the cancer treatment segment anticipated to hold a significant share due to the rising global incidence of cancer and advancements in treatment options​​.
  • Emerging trends in the industry emphasize wellness and preventive care, alongside increased utilization of technology such as telemedicine and virtual reality to enhance patient care and experience. Personalized medicine is gaining traction, with treatments being tailored to individual genetic profiles​​.

Cancer Treatment and Neurosurgery Contributes More Than 36% Revenue

Cancer treatment and neurosurgery significantly contribute to the global medical tourism market, accounting for more than 36% of its revenue. This trend is largely driven by patients seeking high-quality care, advanced treatments, and cost savings not available in their home countries. Many individuals find that treatment abroad offers substantial financial benefits, with some countries offering procedures at a fraction of the cost seen in the United States or Europe, without compromising on quality. Insurance coverage also plays a role, as some policies now include provisions for treatment abroad, further reducing out-of-pocket expenses for patients. The most preferred destinations for cancer treatment and neurosurgery include countries known for their medical expertise and state-of-the-art facilities, such as India, Thailand, and Turkey. These nations not only provide cutting-edge medical treatments but also cater to international patients with services designed to ease their stay during treatment in the medical tourism market. Annually, a significant number of people travel for these specific medical needs, drawn by the promise of affordable, high-quality care and the opportunity for quicker access to medical procedures. The combination of cost savings, insurance support, and access to advanced medical technologies continues to drive the growth of medical tourism for cancer treatment and neurosurgery globally.

Top Players in the Global Medical Tourism Market 

  • Fortis Healthcare Ltd.
  • Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited
  • KPJ Healthcare Behard
  • Klinikum Medical Link
  • Agoda
  • Expedia
  • Hotwire
  • Bookmundi
  • Skyscanner
  • Marriott International
  • Jin Jiang
  • Hilton Hotels
  • InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)
  • Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc.
  • Accor Group
  • Huazhu Hotels Group
  • Other Prominent Players

Astute Analytica has segmented Global Medical Tourism Market report based on Treatment Type, Service Provider, and Region

By Treatment Type

  • Cosmetic Treatment
  • Dental Treatment
  • Cardiovascular Treatment
  • Orthopedics Treatment
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Fertility Treatment
  • Ophthalmic Treatment
  • Other Treatments

By Service Provider

  • Public
  • Private

By Region Outlook

  • North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico)
  • Europe (Western Europe [The UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain Rest of Western Europe], Eastern Europe [Poland, Russia, Rest of Europe])
  • Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia & New Zealand, ASEAN, Rest of Asia pacific)
  • South America (Brazil, Argentina, Rest of South America)
  • Middle East (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Rest of Middle East)
  • Africa (South Africa, Nigeria, Rest of Africa)

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